How Can I Open a Bank Account Online? And What’s the Alternative?

Online banking is here to stay. This bold statement comes after a successful first stage of digital transformation in various industries such as retail and commerce, and a second stage, currently accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19. 

When considering online banking, there are several options that come to mind: A digital wallet, a virtual credit card, general financial services, use of online currencies such as Bitcoin, and an actual bank account in its traditional sense, which is online. Of course, there are many more variations of online banking, but this article focuses on online banking services that are tailored for international workers.  

It keeps you safe, it’s good for the planet, and it’s probably the cheaper option. However, when considering online banking, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you actually need an online bank account. Perhaps the solution you seek is a platform that provides advanced online financial services and not an online bank account. Let us explain. 

Do you need to manage finances in more than one country?

As an international worker, you’ve migrated from one country to another, but haven’t completely left your country of origin. You probably want to send money home, to your loved ones, you might even need to make social security payments, handle bills and other instalments back home. 

In addition, you’ve got to handle your finances in your new home. Open a bank account, deposit your salary, pay bills, perhaps even save some money, and much more. On top of that, you have to do everything in a foreign language, in a foreign country. 

So, you can choose to open an online bank account. However, you might need more than one (or two) account just to handle your basic financial needs across the world. The solution, in this case, is one platform that allows you to manage all your finances – back home, and in your new home.

Why should I opt for an online platform instead of an actual bank account?

Excellent question. The answer is simpler than you think and lies with you, the customer.

Today, most traditional banks have an online option. This option is not necessarily cheaper or better. However, it does have some advantages such as the ability to provide real-time information and a paperless relationship.

With an online bank account, you can avoid bank queues and perform all kinds of financial transactions from your PC or smartphone. You can also have a clear, complete overview of your financial transactions, account balance, and account history with a few simple screen taps. 

However, it’s still a bank account with all its limitations such as the notoriously high bank fees, bureaucracy, and more.

On the other hand, online platforms that provide cross-border financial services such as remittance, bill payments, insurance payments, and much more are made available to the wide public. While remittance and bill payments are seemingly unrelated financial services, the secret lies with the platform’s target audience and the question of whether you are in it or not.

You see, most traditional banks provide traditional, domestic services. For international workers, however, basic needs are much broader. Thus, when considering the right platform for you, you should consider the following:   

Make sure it’s all about you. Choose a place that understands your unique needs, that speaks your language (both literally and figuratively), and sees you as a VIP customer.    

Choose a trustworthy company. Make sure that your hard-earned money is in good hands. Read about the company, make sure it complies with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, and is partnered with other trustworthy institutions. 

Ask yourself if you understand what the company has to offer. It’s important that you understand everything. Make sure the services and offers are clearly explained and that you have someone to ask in case you’re not sure.    

Still wondering “How can I open a bank account online?”

It’s easier than you think. While each bank has its own procedures, opening a bank account online should be straightforward and include the following steps and documents:

  • Fill in an online application that includes your permanent address
  • Upload supporting documents such as an ID or a passport
  • Wait for your application to be approved

If you opt for an online platform that provides financial services, the process should be similar. More importantly, if you choose a platform that is tailored for migrants, you’ll be able to do everything in your native language and enjoy services that are tailored for your needs.


The next time you encounter the question “How to open an online bank account?” you’ll already know the answer – it’s not about how to open a bank account, it’s about if a bank account is what you need.